PAUL J. COHN
Paul J.Cohn, known to some as DC’s ambassador of hospitality, is the heart and soul behind many of the District’s most landmark restaurants, bars and clubs. As the original owner and operator of J.Paul’s, which opened in 1980 in the heart of Georgetown, and vision and soul of Georgia Brown’s, famous for its low country cuisine while playing host to political pundits and celebrities, he is also the co-creator and visionary behind Old Glory, Paolo’s Ristorante, The River Club, Z Club and more. Cohn has brought to the restaurant scene, and to Washington DC, what no other restaurateur of this day and age has: a rhythmic heartbeat.
Cohn’s heart hasn’t always just beat for restaurants. He got his start in the music business as an artist’s manager and promoter, introducing many of the nation’s top entertainers to Washington, and bringing world class local talent to world class status. Cohn worked with DC native, Van McCoy, a writer and producer known for starting the disco movement with his hit “The Hustle”; though Cohn’s most well known achievement was taking the singing duo Peaches & Herb to the top with their first album, “2 Hot”, which sold over 5 million albums worldwide in 1978.
While a Baltimore native, Washington DC is his home and his city. He has been a force behind preserving and protecting the welfare of the District’s people and businesses for many years, serving in the following capacities: current Chair of the Board, Destination DC; past president of the Georgetown Business Association Board of Directors and Executive Committee; past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington; past member of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Operations Committee of the Washington Convention Center Authority; member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Destination DC, formerly known as the Washington Convention and Tourism Corporation; member of the Executive/Governing Board of Directors of the DC Chamber of Commerce; member of the Board of Directors, Executive Committee and Chair of the Government Relations Committee of the Georgetown Partnership (Business Improvement District); member of the Board of Directors of the Trustees of Southeastern University; past member of the Board and Executive Committee of the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival; past member of the Board of Directors of the Howard Theatre Restoration; member of the Board of Washington Trustees of the Federal City Council; mayoral appointee to District of Columbia Taxi Cab Commission.
A compassionate man by nature, he is the life of every party, the jokester at every dinner table and the soul within the hospitality industry and the community. Cohn’s rhythmic style, as a man of great passion with a heart that doesn’t skip a beat along the way, is what has made him achieve Grammy worthy success in music, and Rammy worthy in recognition restaurants. To Cohn, Music is Life, and Restaurants Are Theatre.
ELIZABETH BRASFIELD SCOTT